[Ed. – Burning in hell as we speak. Rumors of the ‘caliph’s’ death have been circulating since 2014, when he was reported gravely injured and possibly killed in an attack. Now we have confirmation from the horse’s … er — mouth.]
The Islamic State has declared its runaway supreme leader dead, announcing it was going to name a successor soon, a source in Nineveh province said, the latest episode in clashing, unconfirmed reports around the leader’s survival.
Alsumaria News quoted a local source Tuesday saying that IS made a brief statement in the town of Tal Afar, west of Mosul, in which it confirmed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s death without adding further details except stressing an imminent declaration of a successor and a call upon fighters to remain resilient.
Chaos flared in Tal Afar following the declaration, according to Alsumaria News’s sources. Infighting among Baghdadi’s loyalists and opponents broke out, prompting the group to carry out wide-scale arrests and to impose a curfew at most of the town.
No official Iraqi authority confirmed the reported statement, but it came one day after Alsumaria News said the group reversed a ban on discussing Baghdadi’s death and a 50-lashes punishment prescribed for the violation. The group had earlier, according to sources, executed a top preacher and a close aide to Baghdadi who inadvertently brought up the issue of his death during an emotional sermon.